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Saeed Abedini welcomed by Franklin Graham as he arrives home

Fri 22 Jan 2016
By Antony Bushfield

Saeed Abedini, the pastor released from an Iranian jail after three years behind bars for his faith, has arrived back in America.

Evangelist Franklin Graham welcomed the 35-year-old after he landed in Asheville, North Carolina.

He was one of four Americans imprisoned in Iran who were exchanged for seven Iranians held or charged in the United States.



The release came after America and Europe lifted sanctions against Iran after the United Nations nuclear agency confirmed that the Islamic republic had met all its commitments under a breakthrough deal.

Pastor Abedini, who claims to have endured regular torture and beatings whilst behind bars, was first taken to a military hospital in Germany for treatment.





He was sentenced to 8 years in an Iranian prison for "attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam" and creating house churches. He has been detained since 2012.

Mr Abedini will spend several days with his parents at a retreat run by Franklin Graham.

His children Rebekka, 9, and Jacob, 7, will join him on Monday.

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